Elon Musk’s Workers Rank Him as a Top CEO Despite Strife, While Zuck, Dara Fall Behind

Elon Musk best CEO of 2018

Engineers generally regard Elon Musk as a great CEO. Not so much in the eyes of HR. DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images

For Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, winning employees’ approval isn’t exactly a prioritized goal. As he confessed in his recent CBS 60 Minutes interview, he’d never wanted to “adhere to some CEO template” and just wants to be his true self. Apparently though, his genuineness has paid off quite well.

According to a new ranking of the “Best CEOs of 2018” released by Comparably, a website that rates companies based on anonymized employee votes, Musk was the 14th most sought-after tech CEO in the U.S., among 29 tech CEOs on Comparably’s list of “Top 50 CEOs” across all industries.

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No. 14 is a pretty impressive ranking for Musk, considering that he was nowhere to be seen in last year’s “Top 50” list and the serial crises embroiling Tesla and himself in the past year.

Musk’s approval rate also came out above several of his closely-watched tech peers, such as as Uber’s Dara Khosrowshashi (No. 19) and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (No. 22).

But that’s not to say Tesla’s troublesome year had no effect on Musk’s reputation, even among his own staff.

Comparably’s final rating for Musk was based on employee feedback from two companies: Tesla and SpaceX. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Musk’s high rank this year was largely driven by ratings from SpaceX, not Tesla.

On a scale of zero to 100, SpaceX employees gave Musk an average score of 83, according to Comparably, while Tesla employees rated him at 77. Had Tesla’s ratings been considered alone, Musk would have missed the “Top 50” list again this year.

Comparably’s rankings were based on nearly 10 million employee ratings across 50,000 U.S. companies between November 2017 and November 2018.

Here are all 29 tech CEOs named on Comparably’s “Best CEOs” list this year:

1. Satya Nadella, Microsoft

2. Sundar Pichai, Google

3. Brad Smith, Intuit

4. Brian Halligan, Hubspot

5. Jeff Bezos, Amazon

6. Alex Shootman, Workfront

7. Marc Benioff, Salesforce

8. John Legere, T-Mobile

9. Lynn Jurich, Sunrun

10. Tim Cook, Apple

11. Carlos Rodriguez, ADP

12. Doug Mack, Fanatics

13. John Van Siclen, Dynatrace

14. Elon Musk, Tesla/SpaceX

15. Michael Morhaime, Blizzard Entertainment

16. Bryce Maddock, TaskUs

17. Ryan Smith, Qualtrics

18. Michael Dell, Dell

19. Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber

20. Amy Zupon, Vertafore

21. Reed Hastings, Netflix

22. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

23. Steven Berglund, Trimble

24. Susan Wojcicki, Youtube

25. Colin Doherty, Fuze

26. Michael Sullivan, Acquia

27. Daniel Schulman, PayPal

28. Scott Wagner, GoDaddy

29. Bill McDermott, SAP

Elon Musk’s Workers Rank Him as a Top CEO Despite Strife, While Zuck, Dara Fall Behind